It does not matter whether you are a beginner or an experienced kayaker, touring is a fun activity that enables you to enjoy wonderful sights from the comfort of your kayak.
You will require a touring kayak if you want to see the best marine wildlife around the globe. What is more is that you get to exercise your upper body while you are at it.
We have put together this useful guide to help you choose the best touring kayak for all your marine sightseeing exploits.
Top-Rated 10 Best Touring Kayaks in 2023 – Comparison List
If you don’t feel like take a tour down the next few paragraphs, this brief list is for you. We list down some of the leading yaks for the money.
|1||Perception Kayak Sit inside Tribute for Recreation||144 x 24.5 x 13.5 inches||45 pounds|
|2||Riot Kayaks Flatwater 14.5 Day Edge Touring Kayak||12 x 23 x 174 inches||66 pounds|
|3||SUNDOLPHIN Dolphin Sun Aruba Foot Sit-in 12 Kayak||144 x 29.6 x 14 inches||47 pounds|
|4||Riot Kayaks FlatWater Day Edge Touring Kayak||12 x 25 x 156 inches||62 pounds|
|5||Wilderness Pungo 120 Systems Kayak||144 x 29 x 13 inches||52 pounds|
|6||Advanced Elite-Air fusion Elements Kayak||156 x 28 x 12 inches||41.9 pounds|
|7||Perception Sit inside Carolina Kayak for Touring||144 x 29 x 14.5 inches||49 pounds|
|8||Riot Kayak Flatwater Touring Brittany 16.5 Kayak||13 x 22 x 198 inches||75 pounds|
|9||Sea Eagle RazorLite Inflatable 393RL Kayak||–||61 pounds|
|10||Eddyline 12 Skylark Kayak||–||41 pounds|
1. Perception Kayak Sit inside Tribute for Recreation
This sit-inside kayak from Perception is ideal for those who don’t like carrying around a ton of weight. Although it is not the lightest weight kayak out there, it is among the easiest ones to carry around thanks to its ergonomics.
This kayak weighs just 42 pounds which quite impressive considering that it has a length of 12 feet. Surprisingly, this kayak can comfortably hold up to 240 lbs. Again, it may not be highest on the market, but it has a good weight capacity.
The good thing is that the Perception Kayak Sit inside Tribute for Recreation comes with a five-year warranty.
Features and Benefits
The yak has a back-friendly and comfortable seat so you can unwind and make the most of your adventure. It’s quite decent it’s padded, and can be adjusted to six different ways! Furthermore, you’ll find flexible stools and cushioned thigh braces which ensures you don’t get cramped up. Talk about extravagance.
This Tribute functions well in a wide range of “level” water, for example, rivers, ponds, and lakes. In case it rains, the large dry storage will come in handy. So your items are protected because of the watertight stern with a neoprene seal. The only downside for us was that it was a bit too small for some paddlers. However, it can be challenging to find a kayak that can fit every paddler out there.
- Adjustable seat
- Sit in design
- 5-year warranty
- Might be too small for some paddlers
2. Riot Kayaks Flatwater 14.5 Day Edge Touring Kayak
If you are searching for a kayak that can make you burn calories, lose weight, increase your heart rate and strengthen your core and shoulders then the Riot Kayaks Flatwater 14.5 Day, Edge Touring Kayak might be a great option for you.
This kayak weighs around 50 pounds and measures 2 x 22.5 x 14.4 inches. The cockpit is 19.5 by 36.5, and it also has a hatch which has a measurement of 8.12 x 15.75. This weight and size make this kayak quite light and easy to paddle around.
Also, the kayak is made from high-density polyethylene (HPDE), which makes this kayak quite sturdy and durable. Due to this, you can comfortably paddle in white and rough water without stressing about denting the hull.
Features and Benefits
The cockpit has a customizable seat, so no need to worry is that you won’t fit. Basically, it’s a “single size fit all.” In addition to that, no need to worry about your back getting sore after a few hours while in this kayak. When getting a tourist kayak, comfort is one of the most important things you should consider.
What’s more, this kayak has adjustable foot braces and thigh braces which provide you with additional comfort and easier and closer control of this kayak when you are turning or doing different maneuvers.
- Easy to control
- great stability
- Contains Thigh braces
- Adjustable cockpit
- Slender bow and slim deck
- Quite pricy
Also read: Reviewing the Best Whitewater Kayaks: Our Unbiased Editors’ Insights
3. SUNDOLPHIN Dolphin Sun Aruba Foot Sit-in S.S. 12 Kayak
The third kayak on our list is the SUNDOLPHIN Dolphin Sun Aruba Foot Sit-in S.S. 12 Kayak. If you are on a budget or you don’t want to spend so much, then this kayak is a great option. It is quite affordable compared to other kayaks out there with similar features.
The SunDolphin Dolphin Sun Aruba Foot Sit-in S.S. 12 Kayak is well designed as a recreational kayak and provides a suitable storage area should you need to go on a day trip. The kayak is an incredible “Cottage Kayak” in that it performs best calm lake conditions and waterways. It features a straight line bottom that assists in tracking in more quiet waters but does not compromise on mobility.
You may have seen that we have referenced “more quiet waters” twice. Well, the reason is that in rough conditions this kayak might not deal as well, regularly it can get pushed around by greater waves.
Features and Benefits
If you are a lake fishing enthusiast, then this kayak might be a solid match for you. Reason being, It features two flush-mount pole holders, additional storage space (you can take out the P.A.C. to create more space). On top of that, the tray compartment situated at the highest point of the cockpit can be used for smaller items like a handle, hooks line that can easily be accessed.
The other great thing with the Aruba S.S. 12 is that the seat is raised from the base of the boat. This enables your bum to remain dry while you paddle around the lake. Its footpads and seats are easily adjustable to fit individuals of different sizes.
- Wide beam
- Adjustable foot braces and seats
- Several length options
- Thigh padding
- Lightweight and Durable
- Not ideal for rough water
4. Riot Kayaks FlatWater Day Edge 13 LV Touring Kayak
Another great pick is this Riot Kayaks FlatWater Day Edge 23 LV Touring Kayak. Just like the name suggest this kayak is designed for flat waterworks recreation. Also, it performs well on large rivers, seas, and lakes. Our review will give a better understanding of this kayak.
This kayak comes in orange and yellow color, which gives an option to choose your ideal color. It has a slender design and a modern seating system which offers optimum comfort. The kayak has customized seats which allow users of all sizes to use this kayak.
Also, the seat is easily adjustable, which allows flexibility. The cockpit features adjustable thigh braces and foot braces to ensure you get close and maximum control while you paddle.
Features and Benefits
The Riot 13 has a double storage compartment on the front as well as hatches which keeps you stored item dry. In addition to that, the kayak features bungee cords for securing your extra baggage. Also, it is fitted with amazing reflective lifelines, so no need to worry about being well visible while you paddle at night. The reflectors will make sure you are well visible near or far.
In addition, the adjustable foot brace ensures that you paddle comfortably in any direction you want. The chine is well combined with the keen to ensure great tracking and good speed. What’s more, the braces give close control and make it easy to navigate in rough waters.
- Easy to navigate
- Padded seats
- Security bars
- Double compartments
- Cockpit may be too narrow
5. Wilderness Pungo 120 Systems Kayak
If you are planning to get out on the water for quite some time, then you might want to get a sit-in kayak. The Wilderness Pungo 120 Systems is a sit-in kayak that is ideal for overnight adventures or even weekend paddling adventures.
This 12-foot kayak weighs just 49 pounds which makes it quite lightweight. The stern and bow handles make carrying the yak supper easy. Besides that, the kayak has a lot of space, and the hull is easy to maneuver, making great for several days trip. Although this yak is not specially designed for angling, it has mounting space if you choose to fish with it.
The Wilderness Pungo Company also has a 14-foot model and a 10-foot model. Both of these models have the same features as this Pungo 120. The cockpit has a measurement of 22 inches wide and 57 inches long.
Features and Benefits
This being a sit-in yak, you can use it in different weathers since it provides you with extra protection when paddling in cold climates. The cockpit is quite spacious for providing you with stability and speed. Also, this yak is suitable for both experienced paddlers and beginners.
This yak features a Phase Airpro three ergonomic design padded seat and also has mesh protected fabric for comfort and extra ventilation. Besides, the seats are easily adjustable for extra comfort.Also, the console has cup holders where you can place you drink as you paddle. The hatch is well-sealed, so you can safely store your battery while paddling.
However, it is worth mentioning that this is most suitable for smaller paddlers.
- Quite stable
- Comfortable seat
- Keeps you dry
- Has no drain plug
6. Advanced Elite-Air fusion Elements Kayak
The Advanced Elite-Air fusion Elements Kayak is designed with a unique combination of inflatable support and metal frame. If you do not want a heavy kayak, then consider checking this Advanced Elite out. This model can give you an amazing kayaking experience and make you enjoy a great ride.
This model has unique features and was introduced to the market in 2010. The yak has aluminum poles, which makes it highly inflatable. The kayak’s foldable measurements are 25 inches in width and 23 inches in length.
It has a total weight of 32 pounds, making it lightweight. This means that paddling this yak can be quite easy all thanks to its weight. But do not let the weight fool you; this can contain a load of up to 235 pounds. It is available in gray and yellow color.
Features and Benefits
The first notable feature is that this elite kayak can easily be transported through a small car or a bus. This makes it is a great option because it is environment-friendly. The model has a robust an sturdy construction which makes it quite reliable, and with proper maintenance, it can last for years.
The external hull of this yak is made with strong and sturdy P.V.C. This kayak’s size makes it an ideal option for people on the average size and teenage paddles. More importantly, this model features a rounded hull, which makes it easy to control.
That being said, some customers reported that setting up this yak can be a bit challenging. Overall, this kayak has a great feature that can give you an unforgettable kayaking experience
- Great speed and tracking
- Excellent storage
- Good quality and durable
- Setting up can be difficult
7. Perception Sit inside Carolina Kayak for Touring
Perception is one of the most popular brands in making kayak products. The company is known for producing high-quality kayaks. Let’s jump right into the Perception Sit inside Carolina Kayak for touring to give you a better understanding of the product.
The cockpit is quite spacious and has an ergonomic seat that provides you with optimum comfort. The seat is also easily adjustable so you can set it up at your most preferred position. The footrest is also easily adjustable.
This kayak has a length measurement of 24.5 inches in width, 14 inches in length and 14.5 inches in depth. It weighs 53 pounds and has a carrying capacity of 300 pounds. While this yak lies on the heavier side, it is quite sturdy and tough to withstand rough waters and you don’t have to worry about damaging your hull.
Features and Benefits
The touring Perception Sit inside Carolina Kayak is designed to offer you optimum durability. It has a single piece Toto-molded design that functions amazingly well when subjected to rough waters and harsh conditions.
What’s more? No need to worry about your kayak being affected by harsh U.V. rays because it is U.V. resistant. It is also made with an abrasion-resistant material and features a finish making it durable. Besides that, this kayak is quite versatile as you can use for day trips or overnight adventures.
- Large storage area
- Good performance and stable
- Comfortable and spacious cockpit
- Has no rod holders
8. Riot Kayak Flatwater Touring Brittany 16.5 Kayak
The Riot Kayak Flatwater Touring Brittany 16.5 Kayak has similar maneuverability and qualities with the Riot Kayaks Flatwater 14.5 Day Edge Touring Kayak. The only difference is that this kayak is designed for choppy waters.
This kayak is made from high-density polyethylene (HPDE), which makes this kayak quite sturdy and durable. Because of this, the narrow and sleek hull enables it to cut via water while the soft chine maintains its stability even when it is on edge.
This kayak measures 12.4 inches by 21.75 inches by 16.5 inches. This kayak weighs 51 pounds. This means that the yak lies in the heavier and longer side.
Features and Benefits
This kayak features adjustable foot braces and thigh braces which provides you with additional comfort and a more relaxed and closer control of this kayak when you are turning or doing different maneuvers.
The cockpit has a customizable seat, so no need to worry is that you won’t fit. The only downside is that this yak is both heavy and strong so it can be a bit difficult to store and transport.
- Has a skeg and rudder
- Adjustable braces
- Heavy and long
9. Sea Eagle RazorLite Inflatable 393RL Kayak
Also on our list is the Sea Eagle RazorLite Inflatable 393RL Kayak has several. This yak has several great features that make it outstanding. However, the main feature that caught our attention is that this model is way narrower than most inflatable kayaks on the market today.
This weighs 28 pounds. This means that the yak is super light, so you don’t have to worry about transporting and storing this yak. Although it is lightweight, this yak can hold a maximum load capacity of 500 pounds.
Features and Benefits
The width of this yak makes it feel like a hard shell kayak while paddling. Interestingly, this yak feels pretty comfortable and offers a pleasant ride experience. As if that is not enough, this inflatable model provides high performance and is also quite easy and fast to paddle.
It also features rear and front skirts which prevent water from spraying back to the kayak.
- Front and rear skirts
- Not very solid
10. Eddyline 12 Skylark Kayak
If you are looking for a suitable one-person kayak, then Eddyline 12 Skylark Kayak is worth checking out. This model has not only durable but has multiple compartments as well. Let us go into a more in-depth analysis of this yak to give you a better understanding of it.
The Eddyline 12 Skylark Kayak measurements are 26 inches by 12 feet. This kayak weighs 41 pounds. This might not be the lightest yak out there but is light enough to make storage and transporting quite easy yet strong enough to ensure it can withstand rough waters.
On top of that, the kayak is small in size and can only fit one person.
Features and Benefits
This kayak features a hull that’s built from A.B.S. plastic which makes it sturdy and hard-wearing. On top of that, the product is available in different color options, including white, blue, and white peal red. So you can choose your most preferred color.
The other great thing is that it has two flush mount pole holders, additional storage space. On top of that, the tray compartment situated at the highest point of the cockpit can be used for smaller items like a handle, hooks line that can easily be accessed.
- Enough storage space
- A bit Pricy
Buying Guide for Touring Kayaks
Touring kayaks are typically stronger than your conventional sit-in or sit-on-top kayak. One thing to note is that all touring kayaks are the sit-in variety because you are likely to spend more time in then and will therefore require protection from the elements.
Here is what you need to consider when purchasing a touring kayak.
Nowadays, the most popular materials used to construct touring kayaks include composites, ABS plastics, and polythene plastic.
Among the three options, this is the most inexpensive. It can fairly resist grazes and scratches. Nevertheless, it is also the heaviest among the aforementioned options.
Polythene is likely to get damaged from UV rays so if you are thinking of buying a touring kayak made of polythene plastic, ensure that you keep it away from the sun.
This kind of plastic will cost you a little bit more but it is quite similar to polythene plastic when it comes to durability. It is much lighter and can better withstand UV rays.
If you choose to buy a composite touring kayak, just be prepared to spend a lot more because it is one of the most expensive options available.
Composite kayaks outdo their ABS plastic and polythene plastic counterparts in many ways but they are more susceptible to major impacts against hard objects such as rocks.
Each kayak comes with the maximum capacity of weight that it can hold. Consider your weight, and that of all the gear you plan to carry on your tour and check the manufacturer recommendations of the particular kayak you plan to buy.
Add your body weight to your gear weight to see how much capacity you will require in your touring kayak.
Size of Cockpit
You want to be comfortable while inside your touring kayak. The size of the cockpit will determine how comfortable you are while inside your kayak.
A smaller cockpit will safeguard you in adverse conditions and provide you with more control over the movement of your kayak.
On the other hand, a larger cockpit will allow you to climb in and out of your kayak more easily.
How to Care for your Touring Kayak
A touring kayak is a huge investment and you want it to stay in good condition for the longest time possible. Here is what you need to do to guarantee that.
Protect it from the Sun
It is okay to paddle in the sun because after all, you want to enjoy the summer. However, the UV rays of the sun are harmful to almost all kinds of materials used to manufacture kayaks.
As such, it is important to keep your kayak away from the sun once you are done using it. If due to unavoidable circumstances, your kayak has to be out in the sun, it is important to use UV protectant, which acts as sunscreen for your kayak.
After you are done touring for the day, ensure that you rinse off your kayak with water mixed with vinegar or bleach. This is because the sand from the beach and salt from seawater will corrode your kayak.
It is always a good idea to keep your kayak covered when not in use especially if you are unable to keep it indoors.
A cockpit cover will keep your kayak clean and protected from the harmful rays of the sun.
Benefits of Touring Kayaks
As you embark on your kayaking tour, you also need to brace yourself for all the benefits that come with it such as:
One of the best ways to improve your social circle is by kayaking. You might have to join a club to participate and this gives room for interaction. You will get to interact with like-minded people and this will positively affect your self-esteem.
Kayaking is a form of exercise and as we all know, exercise can reduce the symptoms of depression and stress. As you tour, nature and calm waters will also surround you, which makes it even better.
Improved Cardiovascular Health
Rowing and paddling is one of the best workouts you can do for your heart. As you paddle, you also strengthen your cardiac muscles and this helps circulate more blood due to your increased heart rate.
This way, you get a great upper body workout for your cardiovascular system.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
There will always be questions in any given topic. Here are some common ones when it comes to touring kayaks.
Is a perception kayak any good?
Yes it is. Famous for its dependable performance, the perception kayak is one of the most adaptable in the market. It is stable and able to maneuver well owing to its tracking keel and wide shoulders.
Is kayaking good exercise?
You can burn more than 300 calories just from kayaking depending on the intensity of your paddling so yes, it is a good workout. With kayaking, you get to build muscle strength in more than just your arms.
Between a shorter and longer kayak, which on is faster?
Everything constant, a longer kayak will have greater speed. This means that there will be less drag and therefore better speed for a specified amount of paddling effort. That said, it is safe to say that longer kayaks are faster compared to shorter ones.
Best Touring Kayak as Chosen by Our Editors
We ranked the Perception Kayak Sit Inside on top of this list for a reason. It’s one of the coziest yaks we’ve come across. It is designed to be back-friendly and is generally quite solid.
A touring kayak is a vital tool if you are into marine wildlife and sightseeing. We understand that it can be overwhelming to pick the best touring kayak for your needs and that is why we put together this guide. You are now capable of making the right choice before buying one.